Try before you buy.....probably one of the naffest games I have played in a while!

User Rating: 4 | Sacred 2: Fallen Angel PC
This game got my attention because of the catchy Blind Guardian theme song and nifty video on YouTube, and since it was already several years old and available at a bargain price, I decided to buy it along with its expansion pack Ice and Blood. I had seen some screenshots beforehand which looked pretty good and GameSpot had also rated it around a 7, so it had to be pretty good....right?


To get a feel for the game, I ran brief games with each of the 6 characters you can choose from (I never tried the 7th one - the Dragon Mage from the expansion pack), before running a longer game with the Seraphim character. The game seems to take forever to start up and often you find yourself staring at a black screen for ages wondering whether it has crashed. Each of the characters has strengths in different areas and you can choose whether to play a Light campaign or a Darkness campaign, though the Seraphim and Inquisitor are limited to Light and Darkness only, respectively. The Seraphim is basically a holy female warrior with a sword who looks somewhat like a cross between a porn star and a KISS wannabe. You can't even name your character (they are simply known by their type and level in-game, eg "Lvl 2 Seraphim"), though the expansion pack allows you minor customisation of your character's appearance, such as their hairstyle and skin colour. However, after you start the game, your character portrait at the top left still shows the default appearance for the character! This is really crappy programming and could have easily been picked up with some decent playtesting.

I ran the game in 1600x900 resolution and was expecting similar gameplay to Torchlight or maybe Kingdoms of Amalur, but your character prances around a garish LSD addict-inspired landscape like they are bounding across a trampoline. Enemies such as wolves and brigands attack you as soon as you leave your starting area, and combat is little more than a button-mash fest as your opponents charge straight towards you, or hang back lobbing unlimited amounts of daggers. Control of your character does not even seem all that precise, as they take several steps before stopping, making it difficult if you want to position them in an exact spot. Even activating the Seraphim's initial special move, a spinning sword slash attack, results in a delay as the Seraphim saunters past her opponent (taking hits on the way) before finally executing the move. This results in combat feeling somewhat sluggish and unsatisfying. The voice acting is not exactly top-notch either and the occasional inane comments from the Seraphim ("How do you expect me to keep in shape when I'm not swinging my sword?") are best turned off. There seems to be no facility to pause the game either and enemies can attack you even when you're looking at your inventory or map screen. Also, the inventory and character info screens are so compressed that you need a magnifying glass just to read the text and make out exactly what some of the items are supposed to be. I couldn't even complete the first quest I chose to undertake! An elven guard outside a fort asked me to kill 5 brigands in exchange for a reward of 75 gold pieces, so off I went across the countryside, despatching 5 brigands in the area my map pointer led me to. The quest in my adventure journal updated with a little green tick to say the 5 brigands had been killed, and then directed me back to the fort to speak to the elven guard there. When I returned, I clicked on him to tell him I had accomplished the task, but then he just started going on about the fact that the brigands were still around, and the quest status in my adventure logbook still told me that I had to speak to the guard to get my reward....!?!

The game's occasional attempts at humour, such as the comments on the gravestones at the cemetery or the occasional quips your character makes, are pretty lame too, and should have best been left out of the game altogether.

I tried to play the game again tonight, but just gave up and uninstalled it from my PC. Even at the same price and/or age, there are simply better games in this particular genre out there than this turkey......